Pretty Little Liars -- Now Sure How I Feel About The Show Now
Several weeks into the Pretty Little Liars’ spring hiatus and I’m still not sure how I feel about the show. I don’t feel as excited about the show as I once did. It’s because the finale was so convoluted you couldn’t even make sense of it. When you need a score card to figure out just who did what that’s then you’ve got big problems with your story.
The free pass I see loyal fans giving the show is that it’s written for teenagers, so whatever slop they put out is fine, since it’s not written for adults who have brains. I think that’s pretty insulting to teenagers. It’s basically says if you’re a teenager you’re not deserving of good writing and you’re too much of a ninny to even be able to tell when slop is being written for you. No matter what age your projected audience is, you have a responsibility as a writer to treat them with respect and write good material for them.
I guess it’s all going to depend on if the writers can dig themselves out of the pile manure they created in the finale. The manure Mona was spreading around about how Red Coat approached her in Radley while wearing a mask was particularly smelly. The only way to clean the mess up is for Mona to be trying to con the liars as part of the plan A devised. She asked Spencer to become a member of the A Team before she was put in Radley and that one thing there makes everything she was spewing a total lie. Why ask someone to join a team that according to Mona didn’t exist until she was put in Radley? And what about Mona telling Red Coat right after she got put in Radley that she did everything she told her to do. Then there’s the fact Toby made sure Sullivan was on the scene of Mona’s reveal as A to safely tuck her away into Radley so she wouldn’t have to do any jail time with her fake diagnosis for her.
They also need to have Mona stop that lame reason she claims she became A for. Because the liars took Hanna from her. It was her being A that took Hanna from her and made the liars bond together. The real reason was revealed in the Ali/Mona flashback where Mona said she wanted to be popular. She became A because she was promised she’d become popular in return.
Spoby shippers be damned. The revelation that Toby is Pretty Eyes makes his claim to have only become a member of the A Team to protect Spencer another pile of smelly manure. They need to stick with Toby being a bad guy and using Spencer and let the shippers just suck up the fact that the great couple they like never existed and was a big sham. Just how has Toby protected Spencer? He let her think he was dead and end up in Radley. She believes he tried to kill her in the shower because she started dating Wren. He faked accidents to make Spencer think A had hurt him because she didn’t break-up with Toby as ordered. He paid Sullivan to leave town and abandon the liars when she promised to help them. How is any of that helping to protect Spencer?
The writers also need to stop dumbing down the liars. Spencer, in particular, was really dumbed down this season. She finds a body in the woods, and just because it has the same tattoo as Toby, she assumes it is Toby. She doesn’t even turn the body over and remove the helmet from his head to really see if it is Toby. And instead of asking Toby just when he became a member of the A Team, she flops on her back and spreads her legs for him.
On the bright side, with Spencer off riding the Dumb Train, Emily stepped up as new leader of the girls and she was actually better at it than Spencer is. Spencer thinks she’s the smartest person in the room and when she decides someone is guilty she won’t even consider she might be wrong since she’s sure she’s right. Emily actually investigates stuff to find proof and she also goes to the police when she has enough evidence, while Spencer prefers to lie and keep secrets, which only gives A more power. Hanna was also allowed to have some brains for a change. She quickly figured out that it was Spencer that kidnapped Malcolm. Then she set a trap for Spencer dressing up as Red Coat.
There’s also this mess with Jenna’s group. Making Costume Rental Girl some big important part when she just showed up was a big mistake. The show needs to give some major answers about this new group. By adding it and having them be after the liars, too, has made things too convoluted. Are they the A Team? If they’re not, then what are they all about? What have they done and what has the A Team done? The only benefit to this group is Jenna has a legitimate reason to hate the liars.
They also need to involve Ezra into the A story. Dump the Maggie and Malcolm story and make Ezra part of Jenna’s group and the one she met in the park. Making it Costume Rental Girl who has no history with anyone on the show was dumb maybe that supposed big moment a big who cares. When even most of the parents are involved in the A story it’s silly for Ezra to be on the outside looking in. Ezra’s family has nothing to do with the main plot and isn’t interesting in the least. It would only be interesting if he was somehow tied to the A mess.
Also enough of the red herrings and pointless plot twists. Red herrings are nice to employ but the show really is exhausting it to the point of ridiculousness. Every time you think you’re finding out something it turns into a red herring and what you thought was something was nothing. What was the point of Spencer joining the A Team? It lasted for one episode and the other liars found out pretty quickly. It just became a pointless story that lead nowhere fast. And it was one of many this season.
Finally, how is anyone supposed to take this A Team seriously when all the members claim they were blackmailed into doing all the bad things they’ve done but they didn’t really want to do it. Wasn’t the whole point of the A Team because they hated the liars and wanted to make their lives miserable? And who would trust a bunch of blackmailed people to not double cross them in some way. I still don’t buy the manure Lucas was shoveling about being forced to do everything he did.
Pretty Little Liars isn’t Lost. They don’t have to explain the smoke monster and all the mysteries of the island. All they have to explain is who killed Ali and what this A Team is all about. There’s no need to muddy the waters with so much minutiae. If they’re not careful, like Lost did, if they make the show too confusing viewers will just give up and stop watching. This new season coming up may be sink or swim for the show if the writers can’t untangle the mess they made of the season three finale.